Guilty – Landscaper who carried out poor work on Charlbury resident’s garage and driveway
A landscaper who carried out poor work on a Charlbury resident’s garage and driveway, inflating the price and pressurising the customer, has pleaded guilty at Oxford Magistrates Court.
During 2019, Dean Potter, aged 34, from Gloucester, trading at the time of the offences as 4 Counties Landscaping, was contracted to complete work for the resident.
Mr Potter carried out work on the drive and garage and charged the customer £5,600, which was worth, as valued by an expert, £161.
He also demanded £6,500 to replace the garage roof when the cost should have been £2,390, but luckily trading standards intervened before this money was handed over.
Oxfordshire County Council’s trading standards team brought the prosecution, which was heard at Oxford Magistrates Court.
Prior to the start of the trial, Mr Potter pleaded guilty of committing offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, for:
- Failing to provide any written quotes or invoices including cancelling rights, contravening the requirements of professional diligence.
- Claiming the product would only be available on particular terms for a very limited time, namely at a reduced price if work was agreed to immediately, in order to elicit an immediate decision and deprive the consumer of sufficient opportunity or time to make an informed decision.
- Charging the customer for work when the value was less than the amounts charged.
Mr Potter was required by the court to pay:
- Compensation of £6,600 to the victim (comprised of £5,600 for the work, and £1,000 for distress, inconvenience; and remedial work).
- A contribution of £3,600 to the costs of the prosecution.
- Financial penalty of £1,850.
- Victim surcharge of £181.
Councillor Jenny Hannaby, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and Safety, said: “This case shows that we will pursue those who pressurise vulnerable members of the public into having work done and for charging excessively for a substandard job.
“We advise anybody who is looking for a reliable trader to always get a number of detailed quotes, check with friends and family for trusted recommendations and consider a trading standards approved trader, from our Buy With Confidence scheme.”
Any Oxfordshire resident that has concerns about activity of this nature should report it to trading standards using the national consumer helpline 0808 223 1133.
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